It’s now halfway through the internship and my time at the Davy Crockett National Forest (DCNF) is ending. I’ve been a part of several community outreach events, such as a forest education day for the Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s summer youth camp and multiple weekend educational events at Mission Tejas State Park. I have also been able to assist in the completion of numerous timber sales and the enhancement of the DCNF’s recreational areas. While it has been a quick five months and I regret that it is coming to an end; I am looking forward to moving over to the Angelina/Sabine National forest (ASNF) and increasing the breath of my experience with the U.S. Forest Service. I am hoping to be able to participate in the fire operations, as I have done quite a bit of work toward getting my red card.
So far, some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had have been working the educational events for children; such as the forest awareness tours and the weekend programs at Mission Tejas State Park, as well as working toward and learning about effective invasive species control, mostly feral hogs. One of the biggest challenges that I am currently facing is communication with people and groups outside the various government organizations; such as schools and individual teachers when trying to make volunteer and community service opportunities available, yet I am continuing with these efforts. It is my hope to enable an increase in volunteerism between conservation-based agencies in the area and the general public, especially students. My key concern during my transition between forests is to maintain the work that I have started in the DCNF area while building new work and opportunities around the ASNF.